Koryo Gumdo

Discussion in 'Korean Swords and Sword Arts' started by Daniel Sullivan, May 6, 2011.

  1. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    The moment I see someone 'twirl' his sword / bokken and make those fancy swirling motions, he goes to the 'poser' bin. Oh and I agree on the dubiousness of newly created sword systems.
     
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    What didn't I like? The twirls. The toss. The absolute lack of coordination between the body and the sword. Doing cutting, even of paper with a wooden sword, in a way that the holder is potentially in the path of the blade if a mistake happens. Need more? I'd have to watch again. Not exactly something I want to do!
     
  3. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Twirls I am neutral towards in a solo sword form. Hopefully, all of the opponents are dead by the time he does the toss, though I did not care for it either.

    Regarding cutting the 'holder,' are you referring to the move at about the 47 second mark where he cuts up and back?

    Or are you referring to the guy holding the paper when you say holder?

    Daniel
     
  4. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Neutral on twirls in small doses, though again, in a solo sword form, I can tolerate it.

    And so, back to my original question: Does anyone know anything about the genesis of this art or the lineage if its US chairman?

    Not out to tear the man's lineage apart; Just trying to find out more about the art.

    Daniel
     
  5. shima

    shima K3NPO

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    I felt that some moves in the forms were too much for show without being as practical and realistic of the Iaido I'm used to.

    There's a handful of shallow stances that aren't cat stances, not a fan of shallow stances with little to no purpose...

    Here's a video similar to one of the forms I learned in Koryo Gumdo that I found on youtube:


    Mostly it's the shallow stances and lack of definition to the stances I really dislike. I don't like the angle she holds the sword at for the blocks, and the weird swirlies have no logical use to me there's much better ways to deflect the blade in my opinion.

    Again I had done Iaido for a few years before (and presently still do iaido again now) so I think I'm just mostly an iaido purist preferring that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm referring to cutting towards the guy holding the paper. If the sword had broken, or the swordsman lost his grip, or even just stepped too deeply, the guy holding the paper would have been in a world of hurt, no?

    I've been taught to look at three parts of safety: Safety to Self (is what I'm doing dangerous to me? is my body in the path of the blade?), Safety to My Mates (are those around me in danger? are my friends in the path of the blade?), Safety to the Weapon (is my blade going to shatter when I hit that target?) Much of what I saw in those videos violated one or more of those safety principles. Some of it violated all of them...
     
  7. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    Sigh…..

    Anyone who has done kendo for a year could take apart at will any of participants in the sparring. It may be that the participants are new themselves, I don’t know, I’m just judging based on the videos.

    Jumping? Sword twirling? Shortening up the weapon? Not keeping the tip on target? Seriously???????

    Why did they build such huge battleships in the past? Because they needed a stable gun platform from which to fire the guns. Sword is not any different, your stance, your body needs to be balanced and centred in order to hit your target with sufficient force, if you don’t, your target will have a nasty gash, combined with a pissed off attitude, and you will be dead.
     
  8. Namii

    Namii Green Belt

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    in the Youtube video shima posted, it looked like the lady was zombie like, half asleep, or gone in another world. Like she had no soul. If it is supposedly coming from Haidong gumdo, you're supposed to do the forms fast and with intent like you are in a battle.
     
  9. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    When Action Flex swords are utilized, I tend to view it as fun foam sword whacking rather than as serious sparring. They may not feel that way, but even if the participants look like Toshihiro Obata, I just cannot get past those foamy swords. They remind me just a little too much of 'The Schwartz' fight in Spaceballs.

    Daniel
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  10. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    The form did not look like any of the haedong gumdo that I have seen (which admitedly is not a lot). The stances are, as Shima observed, fairly upright and mobile, closer to kendo than to HDGD. That is not a slight; it is just different.

    Not sure how far along one is to test for a blackbelt either; if it is a two years to black belt system, then my expectations of the depth of her performance are going to be different than if it is, say, four years or more to black belt.

    Daniel
     
  11. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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  12. cdunn

    cdunn 2nd Black Belt

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    The big thing that leads me to conclude that there is little to no HDGD in this "Koryo Gumdo" is the basic mechanics. Whatever of Haidong cane from Shinkendo, the bulk of the technical curricula appears, as I understand it, to be derived from Gicheon, a rather esoteric, cult-like martial art.

    In any case, the two arts both share a peculiar set of stances and motion between them - Fundamentally, power is generated by reaching planting a foot in the direction of motion, and sliding/dropping the body into the stance, rather than the back foot thrusting against the floor, as would be done in the typical 'walking punch'. The largest tell of a skilled practitioner is the transition into sodoseh, the short-low stance, which generally starts as a long stance similar to the common front stance, and then the rear foot slides along the ground and the knee drops, until the two knees are about 6-8 inches apart ("two fists distance"). The cut is fluid, and is a part of the slide. This is what I don't see here.
     
  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Oh dear. From a swordsmanship point of view, there is nothing good here at all. It really looks like movie-fantasy based movements. The 'cuts' are far from effective, most of the actions would result in embarrassing death of the practitioner. If this is what is being learnt, I recommend finding a good Iaido or Kendo teacher instead.
     
  14. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    This begs the question: what is the main purpose of learning the art: is it a self improvement through form practice or a genuine combat art?

    Regarding the movements, are not some of those stances and movements used in some Chinese sword styles?


    Found one of those years ago.:)

    Daniel
     
  15. shima

    shima K3NPO

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    Yeah and that was the problem with a lot of the forms I learned in Koryo Gumdo during the year or so I practiced it... they didn't have the soul and the intent you feel when you do iaido. But then again this goes with my problem I had with tae kwon do and the often more relaxed forward stance as opposed to karate and it's deeper stances, it just feels like you're not fully committed (in my humble opinion) when you don't have full "proper" deep stances to me.
     
  16. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Never practiced Okinawan karate, but I understand that stances in Okinawan styles are similar to taekwondo's more upright and mobile stances. I also understand that Funakoshi's were as well and that the deep stances were introduced by his son.

    As for commitment, we don't use deep stances in kendo/kumdo either, but you can definietly tell who is commited to a strike.

    If you don't mind my asking, how long is the average time to reach blackbelt in that style?

    Daniel
     
  17. Namii

    Namii Green Belt

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    This is where I was referring to when i had said "if this supposedly came from HDGD..."
    But anyways, I see what you mean by her being mostly upright like Kendo and not in low stances.
    The guy in this last youtube video does look more involved. Little more soul and intent than the womans video but still not quite what I like to see. I too wonder how long it takes to reach black belt in Koryo Gumdo.
     
  18. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    They go together, hand in hand, really. The self improvement through practice of swordsmanship is based in the mindset of training in killing movements and refinement of actions to an essential elegance. This has none of that. How much self improvement do you get by going through movements that are divorced from any form of reality? It just doesn't have any congruence to it, and cannot generate any real benefit that way (other than by a more placebo type effect).

    These ain't Chinese swords, though... and that's a big part of why what they're doing is so bad, honestly. One sword is not the same as another, and these ones don't work the way they're being shown being used here.

    Well done to you, then! I was offered an opportunity to train in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu tonight.... don't know how I'll fit it in, though!
     
  19. Namii

    Namii Green Belt

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    I really get into those deep stances in Haidong gumdo.:) And yes some might argue about the sword twirling and stuff but we dont toss our sword like that. And the twirling is less than what is shown in these videos. I interpret our twirls as fancy chiburis (since theyre at the ends of the forms) I like going through the forms like telling a story. Bursts of energy, and then a natural pause waiting for the next attack.. A fight on the battle field, never take your eyes off the enemy. Intent.
    Sorry i was getting into it there
     
  20. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    One effect aside from placebo is simple basic fitness and flexibility. This day and age, I'm just happy to see people up and moving.

    I know that and you know that. Even though swords similar to the jian and the dao were used in Korea in addition to the curved, two handed saber that resembles the katana, virtually every Korean sword art that I have seen uses either a katana or a sword so similar to a katana that it is essentially a katana.

    Let us know how it goes!

    Daniel
     

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